Friday, April 29, 2011

Slow Down Your Neighbors*

Farland and George R. R. Martin have such a . . . “slow” way of writing, for lack of better word. Slow, but the pacing is still good. I’m reading Runelords #3 right now, and really, plot-wise, not that much had happened, but I’m halfway through the book, and I’m not bored. GRRM did the same this with A Game of Thrones. I’m reading it, yet I can’t grasp how he does it. How these authors don’t have to cram a million things into a story to make it interesting. This is something I need to learn.

How, though, is the problem. How do I write like these guys, how do I make the little things interesting, and fill the gaps between the big things? For crying out loud, not 24 hours has passed in Wizardborn but the story is still interesting! I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Someone, please, enlighten me.

*Modern Family? Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Love with Sia

I’m finally passed the massive rewriting of the middle of this book. Not necessarily clear sailing from here, but at least my sail is patched and working. My relief is palpable, let me tell you. What a mess.

Two of my three WotF books came in the mail. Currently reading Brad Torgersen’s Exanastasis from volume 26, since I’ve actually met him and wondered what his writing is like. Really good so far, despite the fact that I’m not much of a sci-fi trunky.

Also, I now own Sia’s new album We Are Born, which I discovered was awesome after purchasing a Sesame Street Tshirt at Hot Topic. I’m In Here is gorgeous and going on my next book’s soundtrack. Right now I’m obsessed with Bring Night, which is super peppy and awesome and would totally fit with Weirs if the book were ever made into a tween anime comedy. XD

That being said, I now require all of you to listen to it and comment about how much you love it. The bridge/chorus is the best part!* It will be my ringtone as soon as I can get my computer to cooperate with me.

*From her voice, you’d never guess she’s in her mid-thirties. . . .

Monday, April 25, 2011

Subplots and Revision Blues

I’m getting excited about this subplot for my next story. I wrote up the backstory for a character while listening to I’m Still Here by Sia over and over again, which is a great song. I have no idea how much backstory I’ll get to reveal in the book, but I have high hopes.

Meanwhile I’m in the “I don’t think this is actually good enough to publish ever” phase of Weirs, aka halfway through revisions.* I’m a little down about it—about all the things I need to fix, about how the things I fix just don’t seem good enough. But I must work on it and progress, and when I don’t have the mental capacity to revise any further, I brainstorm for my nameless future story, which may or may not be about chickens.

In other news, this blog has officially surpassed the number of posts in my other Blogger blog, which I tend to shaft nowadays.

*When I say “halfway through revisions,” I actually mean “halfway through the first big hacky-hack revision,” not “half way through ALL REVISIONS EVER WOO~.” Just wanted to clarify.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hack and Slash: The Closest to a Horror Writer I’ll Ever Be

And the mess of the “middle” continues. I had to rip apart chapters 8 and 9 and piece them all back together, but now chapter 10 is getting a hack-job as well. I have to cut out a scene I really like, too. Alas.

I printed off part of chapter 10 because I had two scenes that didn’t flow together, and I wanted to read it away from a computer and sort it out. Whilst doing this, I realized I had a big gaping plot hole that any smart reader would notice. Basically it was an error that makes my antagonist look like a moron, and I can’t be having that.

So I brainstorm, and I called up my BFF and forced her to brainstorm with me, and finally came to a solution. Deleting scenes, moving scenes, creating new scenes. I think it should all come together now—on my next read-through (AKA the revision where I vamp up the religious aspects of the story) I’ll know for sure.

In other news, I finally joined Twitter! My name is CNHolmberg if any of you likewise have accounts. :D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CONduit Reminder

Friendly reminder to any Utah writers* that the 21st CONDuit is coming up next month!

This convention isn't big enough to attract many editors/agents (in fact, I don't think we get any outside of Shadow Mountain), but I'm memorizing my pitches if only for practice. So if you're coming, make me pitch to you!

P.S. I'm willing to carpool if you are. :D

*-Slash-writers who love to drive

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It’s Like a Doughnut with a Creamy Tar Center!

Holy macaroni Batman, your novel sucks!

I’m on chapter 8 of my revisions, only to realize the center of this novel is a complete mess. The scenes are all over the place and don’t flow at all. Not to mention one scene makes my baddies look like total morons.*

So I took chapters 8 and 9, categorized their scenes, and now I’m doing a game of mix and match, cut and paste. What I can keep, what I can’t, what I need to write to make it all make sense. But looking at it, I’m not entirely sure it will all mesh enough in time for chapter 10—ugh, the middle is the hardest part to revise, because it can crap out the whole rest of the story. Beautiful. I need to attack this thing with a clear head.

Sigh. The pains of effort….

*Funny, because I don't remember being this thoughtless when I wrote it the first time . . . Nathan, I sincerely apologize. XD

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WotF and the Gym

Got an invitation to the Writers of the Future awards ceremony in May in the mail yesterday—it’s laminated! I take it they send these out to everyone who entered so they can get a full house the night of the ceremony (which is in California). Or something. I don’t know how these things work, but it’s streamed live on the site, so I can watch it at home.

Ran into some hang-ups in Weirs, but I think I can BS my way out of them. Also decided that the elliptical is a good place for brainstorming.

Monday, April 11, 2011

When Prose Changes Character

I’m not happy with my book* whilst on lunch break, so I’m updating the blog. :D

Rewrote the first real fight-scene in Weirs, which comes at the end of chapter six. Where I had originally dumped all this backstory on one of the characters, I left only a breadcrumb, and the rest of the backstory will come out much later in the book, at a more emotional and crazy time. Here’s hoping I don’t forget to do it. (I think I left myself a note . . .)

I’m shaving off bits and pieces of interaction between my protagonist and a side character, and I’m amazed at how just a few word snips changes their relationship. It’s much more closed off now, much less innocent. But I like it that way, and I think it will benefit the book in the long run, assuming I pull everything off the way I want to.

SIDE NOTE: If any of you know a good “quest” fantasy (besides Lord of the Rings), please let me know! My next project certainly falls into the lines of quest fantasy, and I’d like to read up on how others have pulled it off.

*I’m reading Pegasus by Robin Mckinley and not really feeling it. I’m 99% positive I’m not going to finish the book, especially since The Lies of Locke Lamora (anyone read that?) is on hold for me at the library. I’m finally on, and the reviews for it ain’t so great either, which makes me not want to continue on. :/

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just an Update

Weirs progressing slowly. Nathan and I have constant arguments over one of the characters in the book and I think there will be no peace to it anytime soon. XD

Tomorrow is the last day of Sanderson’s class for me. It’s basically a Q&A session. I should come up with some questions. (He never did answer my question about Con etiquette….)

Almost done with Son of the Shadows. It's much better than my friend made it out to be.

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Exceptionally Long and Awkward Poem About My Birthday.

It's a good day.

First, I finally feel like I'm back on track with revisions and I know where Weirs needs to go. It will take time, effort, and a lot of revising, but I finally have the shape of the finished book in mind, and I'm confident I can achieve it.

Second, it's my birthday! I got work off and am spending the day with my lover (who is currently in a class he can't miss so I'm Internet surfing/writing in the Institute building on campus). I went to an Institute class with him, then we went to my favorite restaurant--The Sicilia--for pizza and cake. Walked around the mall for a while, and once his class is over we're going to Color Me Mine to use a gift card we got from my sister for Christmas.

Speaking of said sister, here's a very lengthy text I got from her today (Which, after typing it up, I realize is more revealing than it probably should be, ha):

Dear Chuck, it's your birthday
You've turned 23*
You're older than Bieber!
You're older than me!
You've lived for two decades
and 1095 days
I'm so glad you're my sister
let me count the ways:
you're proud of your freckles
you fart in the car**
And you seem to like being
the way that you are
You hate it when people use
three paper towels when they pee
and without your pink glasses
you really can't see
you used to eat butter
straightout of the tub
and once tried to convince me
to bit your naked belly flub***
When other kids like Pikachu
you always chose Snorlax
you played the flute and piano
And, for a while, the sax
Sometimes you're eccentric
Sometimes you're quite calm
But I love you always
Even when you gnaw on my arms
We're pretty amazing
my big sister and I
We're like Xena and Gabrielle
like science and Bill Nye
We're like Spongebob and Patrick
Except not really because that show is super retarded,+ like this stanza
Anyways, enjoy your big day
and from you and me
Bon Anniversaire!

...And she says she hates creative writing. ;)

*Yes, I'm only 23.

**This is a line I hesitated including in this blog XD

***Long story.